Filomena Scalise

Johannesburg - South Africa's Purchasing Managers' Index was unchanged in January, remaining at its weakest level since April 2013 as business activity and new sales orders weakened, a survey showed on Monday.

Data from the PMI survey sponsor Kagiso Tiso Holdings showed the index started the year at 49.9, its second consecutive month below the 50-point mark.

However, manufacturers were optimistic that the weak rand could boost exports.

“Given that local demand is likely to remain relatively weak, manufacturers may be expecting a boost to exports due to improved demand from the Eurozone and a possible competitive edge from the weak rand,” said Abdul Davids, head of research at Kagiso Asset Management. - Reuters